Month of Movies: Will Helena Bonham Carter Be Oscar's Queen for a Day?

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I don't yet know who I'll be rooting for to win the Best Supporting Actress Oscar at this year's Academy Awards. Melissa Leo and Amy Adams were perfect in The Fighter, Jacki Weaver is shockingly believable in Animal Kingdom, and Hailee Steinfeld had a huge role and carried every one of her scenes in True Grit.

Helena Bonham Carter King's Speech
Image: The Weinstein Company

But I think all told, Helena Bonham Carter has my heart. Her role in The King's Speech certainly wasn't as gritty or fierce as those of her competitors'. She played Queen Elizabeth, after all. Her precise acting in such a tough role was truly Oscar worthy, exuding a careful royal air while also being vulnerable and complexity and depth to the piece through her performance.

I also adore many of the other characters she has played through the years since her first film, A Room with A View. (She was 19 years old.) Helena's distinctive beauty and presence could have relegated her to a fine career playing British period pieces -- she is hypnotic as Helen in Howard's End and emotionally seductive as Kate in The Wings of the Dove.

Then there is an incredibly quirky side to her career. She's Death Eater Bellatrix Lestrange in the Harry Potter series, after all. Director Tim Burton, who is also her life partner, has used her as a magical force to create such odd delicacies as The Red Queen in Alice in Wonderland and Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd. I can't wait for Dark Shadows!

So I think I am rooting for Helena for the Oscar. She excels in The King's Speech and has a rich body of work under her beautiful British corset. On top of all of that, I also love the way she presents herself on the red carpet and in interviews. Helena's taken plenty of heat for having an odd and at times inelegant fashion, and much of the press about her in the last month has focused on the miss-matched shoes she wore to the Golden Globes. But she is so unpretentious, so full of humor, that I grow more and more intrigued by her each time she is interviewed. She wryly told Jay Leno that her unusual fashion has been a public service, and I'd have to agree:

Helena Bonham Carter has warned us all that her Oscars dress may be a catastrophe, so that's something to look forward to during the Academy Awards pre-show. I'm sort of hoping that we also get to see her shoes, matching or not, on stage during an acceptance speech. Though if Hailee wins, who could be said about that? Then again, I could make a great case for Jacki.

Who has your vote for Best Supporting Actress?

Contributing Editor Deb Rox blogs and Tweets and loves to go to the movies in real theaters with popcorn and fountain drinks just like in olden days. When her shoes don't match it's usually because she has grabbed the wrong flip-flop.


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